End of the New Deal?
The battle over Social Security is the latest round in a war that the far Right has been waging since the 1930s.
There is a small but well-organized minority that has been champing at the bit to dismantle every last shred of the safety net that was put in place during FDR’s presidency. Replacing the progressive income tax (i.e. the more you earn the higher percentage you pay) with a flat tax is right up there at the top of their list, along with dismantling Social Security.
This group is still a minority, but right now they have more power than at any time since the early 1900s.
Few people (outside of this group) look back on the 1950s as a period of socialism and massive giveaways. The G.I. Bill, home loans for veterans, the minimum wage — all contributed to making that period the most prosperous in our history. And it’s all headed for the chopping block. Eventually. Incrementally. Brace yourself for more and more Orwellian variations on their “saving Social Security” rhetoric.
A White House strategist said in a recent memo: “For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win—and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country.”
Make no mistake — this “ownership” society that the Right is chirping about is a euphemism for dismantling it all: Social Security, the progressive income tax, minimum wage, you name it. We were an “ownership” society during the 1930s depression. Do we want that again?